SUNBIZ

Employment Minister To Visit Australia On Seasonal Employer Work Scheme

The Minister for Employment, Productivity and Industrial Relations, Semi Koroilavesau will travel to Australia to discuss the alleged exploitation of Fijians under the Seasonal Work Programme. He is expected to
11 Apr 2016 11:17
Employment Minister To Visit Australia On Seasonal Employer Work Scheme
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The Minister for Employment, Productivity and Industrial Relations, Semi Koroilavesau will travel to Australia to discuss the alleged exploitation of Fijians under the Seasonal Work Programme.

He is expected to leave the country next week with a team from his ministry

“Australia and Fiji are new to the Seasonal Work Programme; we will discuss the issues with our Australian counterparts while we are there,” he said.

Mr Koroilavesau further said his visit to New Zealand was to visit Fijians working in farms and to see if more positions could be secured with employers.

“This visit was also to give our team especially for me to see the situation on the ground and discuss issues with the NZ Government, Employers and our workers that are working there.

“The most important issue we discussed with our workers is the scheme and for them to understand that their performances in New Zealand will assist everyone in increasing our numbers going forward.

“We wanted to understand the requirements of the Employers which will allow us to better our systems at the Ministry especially in NEC and FORES, the two departments responsible for this scheme,” he said.

Mr Koroilavesau said the scheme was working well and we needed to work on the positives and improve our process and systems.

“We have around just below 100 in New Zealand now and there is a lot of interest to employ more of our people.

“We did not receive any complaints from our people but we need to have better process in explaining to our workers that this work is dependent on these seasonal fruits and a lot depends on the specific work they are employed in and the fact that these works depend a lot on weather in a season.

“We will work on visits to our people with assistance with Fiji’s Ambassador to NZ Mr Filimoni Waqabaca and our counterparts from New Zealand.

“We now have better understanding on how the programme works in New Zealand and hopefully we can work with the Australian Government on the positives to move SWP forward,” he said.

Mr Koroilavesau thanked the New Zealand Government in facilitating this visit which allowed our team to have genuine discussions with employers and with government officials.

“The visit was very successful and we will work hard to capture the positives that were discussed in the 7 days we were there.

“We have made a commitment to work and improve our processes to assist our workers to understand the expectation of the Employers as the scheme is employer driven,” he said.

 

Feedback:  arieta.vakasukawaqa@fijisun.com.fj

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